Abuse, Torture, and War

An AP story entitled, Guantanamo detainee kills self, appeared a month ago. The final part of the article said that the defense attorneys working there felt that “the death likely was an act of desperation at a prison camp where detainees are denied access to US civilian courts and isolated in their cells for up to 22 hours a day.” They also mention the “five and a half years of desperation,” and conclude by saying that “suicide should be expected given the conditions at Guantanamo.”br /br /A syndicated article by Dr. Howard Brody appeared a week earlier. Dr. Brody, who provides medical advice, condemns American military personnel who are also in the medical profession; he says that condoning and observing torturous treatment is unethical and inexcusable. Specifically, he says that one detainee from Guantanamo who was “interrogated in 2002-03 was deprived of sleep and exposed to an air conditioner turned up so high he had to e hospitalized for hypothermia. Medical personnel monitored him continuously during this interrogation.” This monitoring by American military personnel, he says, is “a clear-cut violation of international medical ethics.”br /br /Then there was an article about US troops in Iraq finding an Islamofacist prison; within they found dozens of men, women, and children dead or near dead. The torture used on these prisoners was a tad-bit more than being exposed to an air conditioner and being deprived of sleep. The good news is that none of the Islamofacist medical personnel were acting unethically by constantly monitoring these prisoners during their torment—and no copies of the Quran were abused. And it’s unlikely that these prisoners would contemplate suicide after 5 years of internment, as few of them would have lived 5 more days had US troops not rescued them.br /br /Am I suggesting that it should be okay for US troops to torture prisoners in order to gain information from them? To misquote former-president Clinton, it all depends on what your definition of “torture” is.br /br /If one regularly beats a prisoner with a pipe, raising welts and breaking bones, most would agree that this is torture. Similarly, rape, severe electric shocks, cutting off limbs, poking out eyes, and total deprivation of food and water for an extended time would be torture. There are many, many more examples of man’s inhumanity to man in history.br /br /If a guard walks into a cell and slaps a prisoner in the face once, is that torture? How about depriving the prisoner of food for a day or two? How about keeping the prisoner a hot or cold environment (gasp, while ‘unethical’ medical personnel monitor the prisoner to preclude serious physical damage)? Are we not talking about a totally different genre? This might be called abuse—but torture? Remember your answer here, and read on.br /br /Remember the attack on Fort Dix, NJ, that some Islamofacists right here in the US, planned to make? Fortunately, an alert American discovered the plan, and it was headed off. If that fine American had not noticed the situation and the attack took place, would that have been okay? A plot to attack JFK Airport was detected; and in Toronto a major suicide bombing threat toall of the downtown area was just recently headed off. Three cars were supposed to blow up in England this past weekend. Does anyone think that there will never be another such attempt on US soil in the future? Or, is it likely that there will be a great many? A recent PEW Research Center poll (published in the Boston Globe on 30 May) estimates that there are about 1.4 million Moslem-Arabs in the US; in the survey, 8% (100,000) felt that “Suicide bombing of civilian targets to defend Islam is justified.”br /br /Suppose the police or military had captured a number of Islamofacists who they were quite sure knew of future targets. However, the prisoners stood on their rights and refused to speak. They were interrogated, with their court appointed and funded attorneys present; they continued to be silent.br /br /Then some bombs went off and some schools were machine-gunned—in your state. Are you yet ready to let the American interrogators deprive these prisoners of their attorneys, some sleep, and some comfort in order to prevent future terrorist acts? No? You can see where I’m going here, can’t you?br /br /The next terrorist attacks hit your spouse’s place of work and your child’s school. One is dead; the other lost both legs. Ready yet?br /br /These Islamofacists are not criminals to be brought to justice; they are volunteer soldiers in a war dedicated to the death of every American and every Jew. They wear no uniform and comply with no rules of war. Do they deserve mercy? Yes, the US will never condone the conditions found in the Islamofacist jail described above. But, should we be leaning on them to ensure that we gain needed information to protect the lives of human beings? Absolutely!!br /br /Americans must wake up and realize that the US is at war with a ruthless, evil, powerful, and totally dedicated group that will kill each of us if we let them. We must dedicate the resources it will take to defend ourselves and defeat the enemy; we must get focused and not stop until we are victorious.

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